14 November 2016 Go back to News
Milltown and Williamstown in Co Galway win Irish Water Value Awards in the North West Region
Prizes were presented at the Tidy Towns Regional Ceremony in Westport
Two villages in Co Galway, Milltown and Williamstown, took home the Irish Water Value Awards in the North West Region at the SuperValu Tidy Towns regional ceremony which took place in Hotel Westport on Friday, October 11, 2016. The ceremony was attended by Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Regional and Economic Development.
Irish Water is proud to partner with Tidy Towns for a second year and sponsor the Value Water Awards which are hoped will lead the way in inspiring water conservation at a local level. The Value Water Award is about raising awareness of the importance of mindful water consumption within communities and is about reconnecting communities with water, creating a greater understanding of where water comes from and where wastewater goes to.
The village of Milltown set up a new private group water scheme that amalgamated four historic schemes within the area. Sensible water management by community members, and professional treatment plant and reservoir operations allow for growth within the community, reduction of water losses through leaks, water source protection from pollution and water supply at a reasonable cost.
Excellent water management and raised water awareness are achieved through water pollution education in schools and engagement in the green schools programme, identification of local water pollution incidents, installation of water containers and regular water issue updates in newsletters and text messages. The community used funds from their water savings and reduced charges to sponsor two wells in Tanzania and Swaziland, which now provide clean water for eight villages that are home to 176 families.
The community of Williamstown reacted proactively to a boil water notice that was issued in 2014. A community group was formed and elected community representatives regularly communicated guidelines and progress of the upgrade works up to the boil water notice lift. After the experience, the community decided to take action to conserve clean water and protect the waterbodies to avoid risks of water contamination in the future. The whole community, including the schools, local farmers and local pubs raised water awareness and implemented environmentally friendly measures to conserve water and improve water quality in the are
This year’s prize fund of €10,000 for the Value Water Award was sponsored by Irish Water. Commenting on the Value Water Awards, Dr. Roisin Bradford of Irish Water said “Congratulations to the Milltown and Williamstown Tidy Towns groups on winning the Irish Water Value Awards in the North West region. Irish Water is very proud to sponsor the Value Water Awards for a second year which we hope will lead the way in inspiring water conservation at a local level. The work the two Tidy Towns groups has carried out to win the awards is truly inspirational from amalgamating four historic group water schemes to proactively engaging with the community during a boil water notice."
She added “We are particularly encouraged to see the inclusion of young people in the Tidy Towns committees as many of the projects undertaken by the winning towns have involved a great effort by local school children. Working with students is an important step in educating young people on the importance of water conservation. Irish Water works closely with the Green Schools Initiative which educates children on the importance of water conservation and with the Value Water Awards hopes to further assist communities in cutting back their water usage.”